Arsenal are reportedly keeping a close eye on the development of Sporting CP playmaker Pedro Goncalves.
According to an exclusive report from A Bola, Arsenal are closely monitoring the progress of Pedro Goncalves, with the Sporting CP playmaker being identified as one of the club’s potential targets in the upcoming summer transfer window.
It is no secret that the Gunners are in the market for a new no. 10 following the departure of Mesut Ozil in January. On-loan Real Madrid playmaker Martin Odegaard is currently their top target, but Arsenal fear that Los Blancos could demand a hefty price for the services of the young Norwegian, who has impressed in the Premier League this season.
Goncalves, though, could also fetch a sizeable transfer fee as well, with the player reportedly having a whopping €60 million release clause embedded in his current contract that expires in 2025. But , it appears Arsenal are tracking the youngster’s situation nonetheless, knowing Sporting could potentially be forced to offload their star playmaker for a significantly lower fee due to the ongoing financial crisis inflicted by the pandemic.
A former member of the Wolves reserve side, Goncalves has enjoyed immense success since joining Sporting last summer in a €6.5 million move from Famalicao. And he has quite predictably flourished with the Portuguese giants, netting 15 goals and registering four assists in just 23 league matches so far.
In fact, the 22-year-old is currently Liga NOS’ top goalscorer and his contributions in the final third have helped Sporting take the league by storm, as they are well on their way to securing a rare title this season. Although an attacking midfielder by trade, Goncalves’ impressive scoring tally serves as an ideal indicator for his productivity in the final third.
The Portuguese playmaker has also showcased brilliant versatility as he has been utilised in a wide or even in a number nine role this campaign. It should really appeal to Mikel Arteta, who is hoping to find a versatile playmaker who can add that extra bit of industry for Arsenal in the final third.
Odegaard, having proven himself in the Premier League, is the priority target for obvious reasons, but in Goncalves, the Gunners could find an excellent alternative, who is seemingly following the footsteps of a certain Bruno Fernandes, especially with the young Norwegian also being linked with Liverpool.
Arsenal, though, certainly cannot afford €60 million to secure the services of Goncalves, so it will be interesting to see whether they manage to strike an agreement with Sporting for a lower sum this summer.